Friday, September 13, 2013

How We Met Your (Birth)Mother

 Heath and I are very excited to announce that we have been chosen to be the parents of what we know will be the most beautiful baby boy due in November. We're ecstatic, excited, and overjoyed! So much in fact, that I cannot at all. So it's 2 am and I decided it's time to write the story of how we met your beautiful, intelligent, caring birth mom. After the failed placement and IVF attempt this year we were pretty much taking a break from everything. Our adoption credentials needed to be renewed and we slacked on that. We were just moving forward hopeful that another adoption situation would happen, but weren't actively pursuing it. We kept wanting to go to Foster Care meetings, but something always came up or we forgot or just felt it wasn't the right time. So, in our church we fast (for two meals) the first Sunday of every month (sometimes it gets moved around, but always once a month). For some reason, we missed Fast Sunday in August so we decided we would fast on our own (not an uncommon thing to do-especially for illness, etc). So on Sunday, August 18th we fasted that we would receive direction on what to do next with our adoption. It was my best fast ever. I typically make up excuses not to do it, or am on medicine where you need to eat, or end early and don't really put my heart into it. This time I really said a prayer in my heart all day about what we should do. The lessons at church were great. I really felt the Spirit. And it was only with minimal (Heath will tell you otherwise :)) whining that we "broke" our fast that evening and ate dinner. The very next day we received our first e-mail from Amanda. I was elated. Not only because we were contacted about a potential adoption situation, but because I knew that it was an answer to our prayers. God was listening to me. He knew of our desires, and he let us know that he hadn't forgotten about us. Sometimes when you are caught in the midst of a trial you feel as though you've been abandoned. You plead daily and nothing ever comes of it. But I have learned that that is because God has his own plan for you. If anything, I was meant to learn patience from this long infertility journey. 

We wrote back and forth a few times. Amanda lived only a few hours away and wanted to meet us! In her e-mail it sounded like she had chosen us to be his parents, but we still weren't sure. The week before we were supposed to meet we didn't hear much. We were terrified. We had just come from the last awful adoption experience and we were cautious. We kept trying to find out exactly when we would meet, but didn't really hear anything until that Friday. We finally heard from both her and our caseworker. She'd like to meet with us at the Houston LDS Family Services building on Sunday at 10 a.m.. Holy smokes, this was really happening! We had never met an expectant mom in person. With T we met his great uncle/aunt who were caring for him (in their home), and we only talked to Beckie through e-mail/Skype/Facebook/Phone. I was a giant ball of excitement mixed with nervousness. What was she like? Would she like us? What do we say? We headed out Saturday afternoon to stay with some of our friends in Houston (Thanks Joey and Kira!) so we could be there to meet with her in the morning. We went out to dinner, and then Kira and I went window shopping to keep my mind off things. I barely slept that night. 

We woke up, got ready, ate breakfast, and then headed out. On the way there we got a phone call. It was Amanda. My heart immediately sunk. In my head I thought to myself "She is canceling." But she wasn't. Her car had broken down, and she was getting it fixed. She would just need to push our time back. I felt relief and we continued on our way to the meeting. That was the first time I had talked to her on the phone. She sounded so nice and upbeat (despite what she was going through with her car). So we made it to the LDSFS building. We parked the car, and waited. It was right next to one of our church buildings and since it was Sunday there were tons of cars pulling in next door, but it always looked they were pulling into where we were. Our heads would follow each car with excitement and then a look of disappointment would flood over them as they turned into the church parking lot and not ours. This happened a lot. It was funny. Some of the cars even pulled into our parking lot and then walked over to the church. Didn't they know we were waiting to meet someone very important?!? 

Finally an SUV pulled in and parked by us. Two women and a young boy got out of the car. We hugged and made introductions. We made our way into the building to a conference room. It was Heath, me, Amanda, her son J, and her caseworker. Her caseworker had brought snacks and drinks for everyone. I couldn't eat a thing. I was too nervous. I think Heath and I were silent the first 15 minutes while her caseworker put out the snacks. But her caseworker got us asking questions and we talked and had a great visit. It was a short meeting because it was Labor Day weekend and Amanda had some family in town. It's just amazing. Amanda isn't a member of our church, but came upon LDS Family Services. We were picked out of like 900 profiles (it was narrowed down more than that since she wanted someone in Texas). Our agency is completely based on the hopeful adoptive couples working hard to make a connection with an expectant parent. Sometimes you felt hopeless that it would ever happen. And it did. We just feel that it was meant to be. We have such good feelings about Amanda, and this match. We are looking forward to continuing to getting to know one another and establishing a life long connection with her and her family. It just feels good.

The baby's due date is November 23rd, but Amanda and her doctor's think he will be coming sooner-possibly October. So we are just busy preparing our home for a new little one, and thanking God for this miracle in our lives. 

Please keep Amanda and the baby in your thoughts and prayers. She is one amazing young lady. 

And that, Baby Breinholt, is how we met your (birth) mother. :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Empty Frame

When our nieces were here last week the oldest kept looking up at our entertainment center (that Heath built!) and point out that there was no picture in this new frame we had.  I would brush it off, laugh, and just say "I know, we just haven't chosen one." This happened a few times. On the last day she was here she asked again "Halla, why isn't there a picture in there?" This time I told her the real reason "Oh, we bought it for the baby we were going to bring home." She knew about us getting chosen and then the placement falling through. She looked at me and said "Oh, well you can just put the picture of the baby you DO get to bring home in it." She is the sweetest girl. Just reminded me how much the failed placement affected all of our family, not just us. They know we want kids. They knew Halla and Xhaxhi got hurt. They love us. I'm just sorry that they have to go through the ups and downs with us.

It has been pretty up and down lately. June was the month we were supposed to bring home our first baby girl. And even though we know that baby girl wasn't meant for us, it doesn't make our arms any less empty of our hearts any less hurt. So it's been extra painful to see little baby girls and not think about what we might be doing with our first child right now. It's a very weird position to be in to know without a shadow of a doubt that a baby was not meant to be a part of your family, but still be sad that they are not here. Along with that I've been dealing with the failure of our IVF and my impending ovarian failure. 6 years ago we were told we needed to do IVF to have children. My test results came back normal for my ovarian failure for years so we never proceeded (because it is very expensive and we never were on the same page about it). They kept coming back normal until last year. Last year we came to a crossroads of whether to try IVF or start the adoption process. After prayer, we proceeded with adoption. IVF never left our minds (well, not mine). We sort of thought it'd be there for a while, and felt impressed that we were meant to build our family through adoption. So January of last year we went live on our agency's website. Months went by and we didn't hear anything. It was every day checking our e-mail a million times. Then one day, there it was. An e-mail from an expectant mom. She said she had her choice narrowed down to four families and we were one of them. We wrote back and forth a few times, but then didn't hear from her. We knew she had chosen her family, and felt at peace about it. We know, KNOW that Heavenly Father has his hand in this and we will end up with the birth family and child we are meant to, and so we knew that just wasn't them.

After that, a few more months went by and we heard nothing. Then it happened again. We received a simple e-mail that just said "Are ya'll still looking to adopt?" We wrote back and forth, got to know each other more, and then she told us she had chosen us. She herself was an adoptive child, and from an LDS family (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). She wasn't active in the church, but still wanted her baby to go to an LDS family. In fact, she told us that each time she went to the website our picture came up (which is not normal-it always changes). She said she told Heavenly Father "Okay, okay I get it. They are the parents." So we spent the next four months talking via facebook, Skype, and phone. There was a lot of drama, and that drama spilt into our lives and we worried a lot about Beckie and the baby. But most of the time it was okay. This was her third child, and she told us early on that her parents had pushed her into adoption for this baby. She reassured us that she would not change her mind, and that she had to do this. That was the problem though. Her heart was never really into it, and with two other children I knew it would be even harder to place this baby with us. It was hard for us to celebrate sonograms, or appointments, or finding out the gender. It's sort of like I said above. It's hard to be happy when you know it comes at someone else's expense. In December, we tried to visit her, but she kept saying that it wasn't a good time. I think we felt it was going awry then. We sent her and her boys some Christmas gifts, but didn't really hear from her. Then in January, we went to visit Heath's family in Utah. While we were there (and after many attempts to contact Beckie ) we learned the sex of the baby. It was a girl! We went out and bought a bunch of little girl clothes. We discussed some of the names we had been thinking about with Heath's siblings. We dreamed of what she would look like. But we weren't really hearing from Beckie. We knew something was wrong, and on our trip home to Texas we really started to get worried. We tried e-mailing and texting, but heard nothing for days. Then on our second day of traveling, a few hours from my parent's house, we heard from her. And just like the journey began, all we were left with was a simple text "No....her heart stopped three days after my apt." Our hearts sank. We were driving and just wanted to get to my parent's (where we were staying the night and picking up our dogs). At first, I think we were just in shock. But I remember looking out the window with warm tears slowly falling from my eyes. I knew this was a defining moment in our adoption journey. I knew I had to choose how I would handle this loss. I was sad. I was hurt. I was angry. Not at Beckie. Sort of at God. How could we be so close and then it be taken away? How could this happen, she was 20 weeks along? Our hearts broke for Beckie, because we were told that she delivered at the hospital after the baby's heart had stopped. She told us she was alone. She told us she couldn't afford burial. She told us a very detailed story about holding the baby, and how beautiful she was. She told us she was sorry, and that she failed us. We tried to reach out to her in the following weeks, but she wanted her space, which was understandable (if her story was the truth). Weeks went by, and I would try and check up on her through Facebook. Our friends and family thought the late pregnancy loss was weird too. Doubt crept into my mind. Then one day on her Facebook page there it was. Some post about contractions keeping her up all night. I was livid. I went to her, and told her I was in disbelief. She denied it, got angry at me, and we exchanged some not so nice words. It was like losing the baby all over again. Except it was almost worse. She was there, she just wasn't ours anymore. A few months later, we saw pictures of Beckie and her newborn girl on her Facebook page. It was bittersweet. I was still hurt from the lying, but I was happy that she seemed to be a healthy little girl and hadn't passed away. I still have questions. When did she change her mind? Why? Is she okay? Is the baby? Weirdly enough, I miss her. I miss the special relationship we were building as an adoptive/birth mom. I cared about her. I loved her. I wanted good things for her. I do not miss the craziness, the lies, the uncertainty.

So we mourned, and went on about our daily lives. We decided to try a round of IVF. Our prognosis wasn't good. We suffered from both low sperm counts and poor ovarian reserve. I'll not lie. At this time, I still thought IVF was a sure deal. One good sperm and one good egg and we would have our miracle baby. But I didn't have one good egg. It was too late, and we waited too long. My ovaries were, and are failing. The doctor told me my eggs are that of a 42 year olds.  When the IVF failed, we were in the doctor's office for our Post-IVF appointment. You could tell the doctor was heartbroken for us. I was teary eyed and said "We should have done it earlier. I just didn't believe the doctors 6 years ago." He told me not to do that-not to think of the what ifs. He said we could "sit here all day and think of the irony of a guy with male infertility marrying a girl with Premature Ovarian Failure", but it wouldn't do us any good. We laughed. Seriously, we loved our fertility doctor. He was compassionate, and funny. But he talked reality with us. It was either donor egg IVF (where we choose someone else's eggs from a donor bank) or adoption. We always knew this was a possibility. I knew for 6 years that I could go through ovarian failure. It just became real right then. My fertility was gone. The possibility of having a child with Heath and my DNA was gone. Again, let me say that we have and still do believe that we are meant to build our family through adoption. But it was a dream I had. It was an innate womanly desire I had inside me, and it died that day. I would never see a positive pregnancy test. I would never get to see a sonogram of a baby growing in my belly, see it kicking, hear it's heartbeat. I wouldn't get to wear maternity clothes, and yes even experience all the crappy symptoms that most people complain about. So it's been an off and on mourning process of that too. I lived in limbo for so many years about my fertility, and now I had my answer. As sad as it was, I'm glad that part of my life is over. No more tests. No more needles, or drugs, or procedures. At the same time, it was sad that that opportunity was gone. That that option was no longer there. It's been a roller coaster of emotions trying to let go of that dream. Most days are okay, but when I see a Facebook pregnancy announcement or a pregnant lady a little tinge of pain squeezes at my heart. But I look forward to forming our family through adoption. I look forward to the many blessings that come through an adoption plan. Expanding our family not only for a child, but their birth family. I am hopeful that one day (and hopefully soon) that frame will no longer be empty, and our arms and hearts will be full. Through the ups and downs, we have not lost sight that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us and it is unfolding each and every day.                            

Monday, August 12, 2013

"The Week"

For the past two summers we've had our nieces Sydney and Mallory stay with us for what they've dubbed as "The Week". They get to come parent-free for a week and let us spoil them and spend some quality time together. They are the ones that call us Xhaxhi and Halla-which means Uncle and Aunt in Albanian. This year was a little harder since Heath was working (and I have a hard time concentrating on work when they're here), but it was totally worth it. It was a little shorter this year, but still just as much fun. We met Ben and Mer in Waco on Tues after work. We ate dinner together and then hit the road with the girls. That night we pretty much just did the bedtime routine since it was so late. Wednesday ended up being our day of fun. I took the girls to get their hair cut. We went to this kid friendly place where they put a bow, "pixie dust", and a scent in your hair at the end. You also get to put a card into a machine and it spits out a toy. They had fun, but didn't get as much cut off as they would have liked. After that we headed to a nail place so they could get their back-to-school mani/pedis. Sydney chose purple and lime green with flowers, and Malla chose sparkly teal and gold with flowers. I did a basic pedicure with pink polish. It was fun to see them enjoying it. Haircuts and nails wouldn't be complete without a new school outfit so we went to the mall to check things out. We got some cute clothes at Children's Place and a new outfit for their bears from Build-A-Bear. We left so we could get home to meet Heath. When we were all together we left to venture down to South Austin to visit Gattitown (It's like Chuck E. Cheese with a buffet). We ate dinner, and then played some games. Then headed home for our bed time routine-PJs, teeth brushing, Moon song by Xhaxhi, prayers, tucked into bed with a kiss, then falling asleep with the dogs. We had planned on spreading some of that fun out, but they landed on the same day due to coupons and other things. The next day was low key and involved hanging out at the house watching shows/coloring/playing games followed by swimming with Xhaxhi when he got home from work. Although we did go back to Snip-its to get their cut shorter. This time they were gutsy and both got short bobs. Friday morning we swam again and then took our annual trip to Big Top Candy Shop. The candy store is downtown and the girls wanted to see the inside of the Capitol building so we did that. Gotta throw a little education into a vacation, right? They liked that it was made of pink granite and how big it was inside. Heath told them some fun facts about it and then we left. We headed home to eat dinner and play some games. The plan was for their parents to come the next day and stay the weekend, but we decided to meet them in Waco again and then they come back another weekend to hang out. So Saturday morning we went swimming for one last hurrah then Heath left to meet Ben in Waco. It was sad to see them go. The house has been so quiet. The dogs miss all the loving they were getting. It was so nice having car seats in our backseat, tiny clothes to wash, and a reason to sit at the table to eat. We can't wait to have little ones in our lives and do those things everyday. When I went up to work after the girls left I found Thank You notes from Sydney to Xhaxhi, Halla, and our dogs Ally and Sophie. It was the sweetest thing. Made us tear up. They are such sweet kids. They enjoy this week so much, but I don't think they realize how much more we do. Phew, a shout out to all those working moms though. But so, so worth it.

 On our way to Austin!

 First "Moon Song" of the trip.

 New PJs for "The Week"

 The first haircut. Not much different.

 Cool bear chairs to get our nails done.

 Bumper cars at Gattitown.

The Frog Hopper at Gattitown.

One of Syd's many 'treasures' from the Gattitown ticket counter.

 Malla's 2nd haircut

 Syd's 2nd haircut.

 The new, shorter dos!

 Malla's bob.

 Syd's stacked bob.

Traditional jellybean pancakes.

 Xhaxhi and the girls at the State Capitol.

                         Halla and the girls outside the State Capitol.

Monday, July 29, 2013

TopGolf, Dave and Busters, and Alamo Drafthouse-Oh my!

This weekend my parents came for a visit and it was packed full of fun-all in one day! We started off the fun by meeting my brother at TopGolf. It's a driving range that has targets and you can play multiple games. We spent a few hours there, and had a lot of fun. I even won one game! I haven't played golf since I was younger and went to the driving range in Keller with my dad. Needless to say, my back hurt the next day.

 Matt and I watching our dad swing.

 Dad hitting some balls.

 Matt taking his turn.

 Me posing for a picture since I was already done for the day.

 Heathies in mid swing.

The driving range field.

After we could no longer swing another club we drove down the street to Dave and Buster's so my dad could watch the Texas Rangers game and we could play arcade games. While there we decided to go to a movie. Half of us went home to let the dogs out while the rest of us went to get tickets at the nearby Alamo Drafthouse (a dine-in movie theater with an awesome no talking/texting policy). We went home with full bellies and completely exhausted. We always have a good time when family comes into town, and feel lucky that most of them live nearby to do so.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Uncle Mattie!

Yesterday was my brother's birthday. I put together a little last minute surprise party for him. His roommate Neil took care of getting everyone there (I think there ended up being 11 people total), and we worked on getting Matt to actually show up. I tried to act cool and just send him a normal invitation to Dave and Buster's (a normal place we go) with Heath and I. He wasn't really biting. I was worried we'd have everyone there but Matt, but then he finally texted me after he got off work and said he'd meet us there. So we walked around playing a few games, and then his friends (and Heath) walked up behind us and started singing 'Happy Birthday'. It was awesome because he was truly surprised. I wish we had got a picture of that moment, but I didn't think about it. We had a great time eating, playing, and celebrating his birthday. I feel very grateful to have my brother in my life-my one and only sibling. We have always had our moments of bickering (like any brother and sister), but I'm glad for his example and caring love. I can always count on having a good time when he's around, and as you can see by the number of people who showed up for a last minute get together, I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Sitting down to eat after surprising the birthday boy.

Uncle Mattie getting a kiss from Sophie.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Failed adoption(s), IVF, and much more....

Wow, it's been WAY too long since we've last written. Honestly, it's just been busy,busy around here. Some bad, some good. I'll start with the bad...

Shortly after finding out our birth mom lost the baby we found out she lied to us. She did not lose the baby, but we think she decided to keep her and thought that was the best way to let us know. Don't worry, it baffles us too. She gave a very detailed story of the loss. It's really sad. I can't imagine living with myself after telling a lie that big. She must have known we'd find out. Honesty is a big thing with me. We've always been open with her, and it makes us sad that she didn't feel comfortable telling us that she changed her mind. We went in knowing that a birth mom could (and had the right to) change her mind about placing, but we never expected to be lied to and in such a heartbreaking way. So we left that adoption experience with a lot of pain. It really broke our morale. That whole relationship was one big drama filled, stressful mess, and we are glad it is over and we've been able to move on.

Also, we never announced it, but late last year we were on a list of potential parents for an adorable two year old boy we'll call T. His grandparents were taking care of him and had heard about us through the Sister Missionaries that visited them (networking works!). We did a few visits with him, even babysat him one night, but ultimately they decided to go with some extended family in Houston. We were heartbroken because we really fell in love with him. Our hearts healed because we were able to focus on the baby we were chosen for, but then that imploded. Needless to say, it's been rough.

After all that happened we decided to try a round of IVF while still pursuing adoption. I have a genetic predisposition for Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) and we found out at the beginning of this year that my body was rapidly failing me so so we decided to do as soon as we could. We wanted to make sure we had tried everything possible to become parents, and wanted to try this before it was out of reach due to my failing ovaries. So we found a great doctor in Austin and moved forward with the process. This is what my schedule looked like:

March 28-April 8: Birth Control
April 4th: IVF Education/Saline Sonogram/Mock Transfer
April 12-25th: FSH/LH Injections (2 shots Gonal-f 375iu/Menopur 75iu)
April 20th-26th: Ovulation Suppresser Injection (1 shot Cetrotide .25mg)
April 15,17,20,22,24,25,26: Monitoring Appointments with blood work and sonograms
April 26th: hCG "Trigger" shot to induce ovulation (Novarel 10,000 USP)
April 28: Egg Retrieval
May 1: Embryo Transfer
Also took: a steroid, antibiotic, progesterone, estrogen, baby aspirin, and a prenatal vitamin.

It was a lot.

 This is all my meds. Yep.

 This was my first shot. It went well and they really weren't that bad.

 This was the "totally normal" reaction I got every time I took the ovulation suppressor shot Cetrotide.

This was egg retrieval day. 

On transfer day the embryologist gave us a picture of our embryo. We named her Emmy.

 This is Heath and I before the transfer procedure.

 This was a sonogram picture of the embryo being put into my uterus.

This is a funny photoshopped picture Heath made from our embryo picture since we started calling her Emmy.

So first of all, I am very lucky to have a flexible job/boss that allowed for me to go to all those doctor appointments. Unfortunately, the cycle was unsuccessful. I produced 4 follicles (average for IVF is like 15-20). Out of those four we only got 2 eggs. When I had woken up from the anesthesia and the doctor told us we only got two I sobbed. We already had pretty slim chances and that just cut them down even more. Later that night we got the call that only one of those eggs was mature. We just said "What the heck, it only takes one. Let's do this!" It fertilized normally and became the 6 cell beautiful embryo we transferred 3 days after the egg retrieval procedure. On Tuesday I had blood drawn to check for pregnancy and it came back negative. We were sort of numb that day. Sad, but not really emotional. It's been later in the week that it's really been hitting us. For me, I just really thought IVF was a sure thing. Get our sperm and egg to meet and BAM pregnant. But this year my POF just rapidly progressed and we weren't left with much to work with. 

So we feel as though we're back to square one. We just keep getting pushed down, but we haven't given up.

We're hopeful that our birth mom is out there.  Maybe she's reading this right now. We'd like her to know that we look forward to building a loving, honest relationship with her. That we hope she has support, and knows that she is loved. We hope she knows how grateful we are for her and her decision to place. We feel that all this pain we've gone through is for a reason. That God has a plan for us and our birth mom. To help each other heal and be there for one another. That although we wish she didn't have to go through this, we're so grateful for the opportunity to adopt and extend our family to include hers. That although there are days where she doesn't feel it is so, that she is strong and can do anything. We hope to meet you soon. 

So that's what's been going on with us. We are still here and are still wanting to adopt. Spread the word!

So despite the sad things that have been going on we've been having fun too. Check out what else we've been doing these past few months...

We went to Utah to visit Heath's family:
 Heath with his sister Kami and our nephew Preston.

 We went to eat dinner with Heath's youngest sibling Ron and his wife Emily in Brigham City. This is the new Temple there.

 Heath and I with Preston.

 We got to see Sister Bruce (a Sister Missionary that served in our area) now that she is home in Logan!

 Cute Preston all bundled up for a car ride. It was SO cold while we were there.

When we came back we headed to DFW for our niece Sydney's baptism. It was an awesome day. We are so proud of her and feel so lucky to be blessed with the best nieces and nephews around-it's true :)

Me with Sydney on her special day. Her dress was made from her mom's wedding dress. So cool!

Both of us with the special girl.

We celebrated Sophie's 3rd Birthday!

And Ally's 12th Birthday!

Lots to look forward to in the coming months too!  

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Very Sad News

I'm just not sure how to start this post, because really it doesn't feel real. But on Monday (Jan . 21st) we got a text from Our Beckie that said our baby had passed away. Her heartbeat stopped and Beckie had to deliver her....alone. We were devastated. Not only because our dreams of being parents started to crumble beneath us, but because she had to go through all that alone and I guess felt that it was too hard to tell us. We just started embracing the reality that we could be parents in June, and then it was taken away. I'm just trying to understand all these trials that seem to keep coming my way. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty to be grateful for, but I guess when you really want one thing it's easy to focus on the fact that you don't have it. It's just heartbreaking. I had faith that the Lord was blessing us after 5 long years of wishing for a child.

I wrote all that last week, when the news was fresh and painful. It's still painful, but we are healing. We still can't really believe it, but feel confident that the Lord has a plan for us-whatever it may be. It's sort of like a bad dream. I often find myself remembering that it happened. Like "Oh yeah...." and then my heart breaks again. Or I'll walk by the nursery (Unfortunately I work next to it upstairs) and choke back tears. Then there was taking back all the tiny, beautiful clothes we bought after we found out it was a girl. The sales clerk asked "Was there anything wrong with them?" and I wanted to scream "Our baby died! She never got to use them!" But I didn't....

I feel sort of shock.  I am sad. I am angry. I feel cheated. I feel confused. But oddly...I also feel at peace. We were chosen. Beckie found us. Our prayers were answered. We were planning on bringing home our daughter in 4 short months. She was only here for a short time, but I feel that she will guide us to our next adventure. She will always be watching over us, and Beckie.

“The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1917–2008), “Come What May, and Love It,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 28.